Qantas Puts Its Iconic 747 Out To Pasture

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By out latest TheDesignAir contributor Zoe Belhomme | The first plane to have flown the world’s longest commercial flight from London to Sydney bid its final farewell to the skies last week before heading to its retirement home at the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) in New South Wales. The Qantas Boeing 747-400 made the 15-minute flight from Sydney to Illawarra Regional Airport where it will be put on public display and preserved as piece of Australian aviation history.

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The aircraft has been given a Permaguard coating to protect it and although the interiors have had a bit of a spruce up, they have been left as they were when the aircraft was still in service. It’s also been announced that three of VH-OJA’s Rolls Royce engines won’t be retired and will instead be fitted on other Qantas B747s.

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With its iconic hump the original ‘jumbo’ aircraft joins an impressive lineup of famed aircraft located at HARS including a Lockheed Super Constellation, Catalina, Douglas DC3 and DC4 and a Desert Storm US Army Cobra.

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Over the past few years Qantas has been gradually retiring its older B747s however the airline is in the process of refurbishing nine of its newest jumbos so that they can continue to be part of Qantas’ impressive fleet. Since 2008, the group has taken delivery of almost 150 new aircraft, lowering its fleet age to an average of just over seven years.

Key Stats: Qantas Boeing 747-400

  • Named ‘The City of Canberra’
  • 25 years in service
  • 13,833 flights made
  • 106,154 hours in the sky
  • 4,094,568 passengers carried
  • Nearly 85 million km travelled – equivalent to 110.2 return trips to the moon
  • Debut flight on 16 August 1989 from London to Sydney – the longest non-stop flight by any commercial airline

One comment

  1. An A380-800 serves the QF7/QF8 flights on the longest commercial route between Sydney and Dallas/Fort Worth. With oil prices tripling in the past decade, the carrier struggled to ferry executives on the 100-seat flights profitably for the past nine years, a sign that the airline industry is once again putting profitability ahead of glamor. The iconic transatlantic flights with the supersonic Concorde were scrapped a decade ago. The shrinking of Wall Street firms and travel cutbacks after the global financial crisis have made it difficult for airlines to lure top-dollar clients. Check this out.

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